The Armlock Sequence

This morning I was mulling over leg locks as I often do. One of the things I love about leg locks is the continuous lockflows that are possible. A failing knee bar can easily become a toe hold, a failing toe hold can be swapped out for a straight ankle lock. But that kind of Hoover vacuum approach – have one core appliance and swap out the attachments – is not limited to leg locks. This led me to thinking through a bunch of arm locks one could possibly do from the standard cross arm bar position – juji gatame.

  1. The first lock is just the arm bar. Pinch your legs, lay your forearm into their elbow, and drag back like you’re skinning their arm, pressuring with your hip/leg to attack at a slightly off angle into the elbow so that you’re attacking at an angle that no one’s elbow bends.
  2. You start doing the arm bar, but uke bends his arm again. You can grab it and leave it bent before he establishes a grip. Then just rotate it toward or away from their head for a shoulder lock in either direction.
  3. Before you even get the arm bar uke locks his arms up. You can just toss your leg over for an easy bicep slicer (legal in judo anywhere arm locks are, not allowed in the IBJJF until brown/black).
  4. Again, uke has his arms locked up, you can cup behind the elbow of the opposite side arm and pull it toward you to straighten it. Put your shoulder under the wrist and you have a basic straight arm lock – ude hishigi ude gatame.
  5. You’ve broken uke’s grip, but are loosing your own. Uke starts to roll toward you to slip his arm out from between your legs. Swing your leg through and end up in an omo plata on the far arm. It’s the same thing you’d do off your back if they pulled the arm out.
  6. At any point in any of these, when you have control of the elbow (with your hand or legs) you can use your one or two free hands to apply wrist locks – the basic crush, kote gaeshi, matsuba dori, etc.

I’m sure there are more – coil locks, short arm locks, . These were the more or less basic transitions I was going through this morning. As a fun aside, here’s a thing on judo leg locks that I found when searching for references for the arm locks:


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